Doctor warns pregnant women to protect themselves from mosquito bites


A senior doctor has warned pregnant women to beware of the Zika virus that could cause birth deformities.

Pregnant women are advised to protect themselves well against mosquito bites as Zika virus is spreading, Dr Thaweechai Wisanuyothin, director of the Nakhon Ratchasima-based 9th Disease Control Office, said.

He said the Zika virus has continued to spread in Thailand now and then through mosquito bites and the virus could cause birth deformities, specially microcephaly.

Microcephaly is a condition where a baby's head is smaller than expected for their age and sex. Babies with microcephaly may have developmental delays, seizures, and other health problems.

The Zika virus primarily spreads through bites by infected Aedes mosquitoes, most commonly Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus. It can also be transmitted through sexual contact and from mother to foetus during pregnancy.

Thaweechai said if pregnant women suffered from fever, red rashes, and joint pains after mosquito bites, they should not buy painkillers on their own but should see doctors immediately. They are advised against taking NSAIDs painkillers especially.

According to Thaweechai, 758 patients had been diagnosed as infected by the Zika virus in Thailand from January 1 last year to January 1 this year in 36 provinces. No casualties were reported.

He said 19 patients were found in the area under the jurisdiction of his office from January 1 last year to January 3 this year. No deaths were reported.